According to AAA, an estimated 90 million people hit the road during the 2012 holiday season. AAA estimates that 43.4 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more during this coming Thanksgiving weekend.

Chances are, some of those travelers are making their way to your house. Welcome overnight guests by preparing your home for their arrival.

Your efforts will create lasting memories that your guests will take back home.

Place setting for Christmas

Make Your Guests Feel Comfortable

Your house guests may not be familiar with your home. They won’t know where anything is or how things work. Real Simple suggests giving your guests some tips that will make their stay more enjoyable. Create an entertaining information sheet that tells your guests such things as:

  • Where the linen is located
  • How to work the TV and remote control
  • How to turn the alarm on and what lights to keep on when leaving the house

This will help when your guests have simple questions such as “where do you keep your water glasses?” at 2:00 in the morning while everyone is asleep.

Give Them Some Space

Some guests are fine living out of their suitcase, especially if it’s just an overnight visit. For guests staying longer, create some closet and drawer space for their things. If possible, move your clothes out of the closet, to give them half or the whole space. Provide a variety of hangers to accommodate jackets and pants, heavy coats and light evening wear.

Empty a couple of dresser drawers and clean them out. Pick the two top drawers if possible, in case your guests are older and stooping or kneeling is a problem.

Consider purchasing some decorative baskets that you can place around the bathroom for your guests to store and organize their items. As long as you’re in the bathroom, get some of the items out of hiding, such as toilet paper and tissues, and place them in baskets where your guests can easily find them. Check out home furnishings stores on Cyber Monday, such as Macy’s, to get the great buys on new guest supplies.

For a Good Night’s Sleep

Provide extra pillows in the bedroom and an extra blanket. Check and replace any dim light bulbs so your guests have plenty of light. A reading lamp on a bedside table is a nice touch for those who like to read before going to sleep. Country Living recommends leaving out a stack of interesting reading materials, books, magazines and newspapers. Local and regional items may be interesting to your guests who come from another state.

The Place to Visit

Arrange the living room so people can sit and talk while looking at each other. Put out lots of throw pillows, on the furniture as well as on the floor. If you plan to have drinks or snacks in the living room, make sure you have ample table space for people to rest their plates and drinks.

Little Extras Make the Stay Special

Find out what you can about your guest’s likes and dislikes and leave little treats around the house for them to enjoy. Here are just a few ideas:

  • A tray of special dark chocolates on the dresser in the bedroom
  • Scented soaps and hand lotions in the bathroom
  • A stack of mystery books and magazines in the living room
  • Movie guides and trivia books in the family/rec room

These little touches all say, “We’ve been thinking about you and hope you have a nice stay with us!”